BELGA/VERSTRAETE

Tunnel closure causes rush-hour chaos

One of the busiest motorway tunnels in the country, the Leonard Tunnel at the junction of Brussels Orbital Motorway and the E411 Luxembourg to Brussels, motorway has been closed. A routine inspection of the tunnel of Thursday night discovered that concrete in the ceiling of the tunnel was damaged in several places. The tunnel was deemed to be unsafe and was closed to traffic in both directions.

This resulted in long delays for those trying to reach the capital from the southeast on Friday morning.     

The VRT’s traffic expert Hajo Beeckman says that "Delays on the Brussels Orbital can reach between half an hour and an hour”.

Thursday night’s inspection found that the concrete ceiling of the tunnel is in a bad state at several places along its length. However, there is no danger to the stability of the tunnel. In order to gain a full picture of the extent of the damage and to work out how to address the issue the tunnel has been closed.        

Diversions and delays

Traffic is being diverted in both direction between via the E411 between Jezus-Eik and Oudergem. This has resulted in big delays. Commuters are advised use the western part of the Brussels Orbital. Commuters from Overijse, Hoeilaart and Waterloo are advised to take the train into Brussels from their nearest railway station.